Microsoft caves in, revises support policy for Skylake devices running Windows 7 and 8.1

Microsoft is showing yet another positive manifestation of its new corporate culture and strategy with an announcement that it has made a few changes to its support policy for customers using Skylake-powered devices to run older versions of Windows.

The Redmond giant caused quite a bit of stir in January when it outlined a support plan for Skylake devices that was a bit too aggressive for some enterprise customers, even though the technical reasons were sound. What was outlined as a 'recommendation' sounded more like an indirect push to upgrade to Windows 10 to some businesses, who felt rushed beyond their abilities.

To put it simply, with the exception of a list of specific PCs that would be supported by Microsoft on Windows 7 and 8.1 through July 2017, all customers buying PCs based on Skylake or newer architectures would have to move to Windows 10 if they expected to have a great experience, as the technical difficulties of supporting modern hardware with an OS designed for another era were piling up a bit too high for the Redmond company, not to mention the potential for another undying OS: Windows 7.

The new changes are meant to offer more breathing room for businesses that need more time to upgrade to Windows 10, as the support period for Skylake devices on Windows 7/8.1 has been extended by one year.

Not only that, but after July 17, 2018, all - instead of 'most critical' - security updates for the two operating systems will also be addressed to Skylake PCs throughout the extended support period for the two operating systems, that is January 14, 2020 for Windows 7, and January 10, 2023 for Windows 8.1.

While there are numerous merits to running Windows 10 on new hardware, including support for features like Windows Hello, there are businesses that probably can't upgrade as quickly as Microsoft would like, whether they have to make certain customizations and testing that take time, or for some other technical or financial reason.

In any case, Microsoft's Jeremy Korst explained in the Friday announcement that the policy change came to the help of customers who were confused by the tangled support options outlined in January so that they don't feel left behind. There's also an update FAQ that tackles many of the concerns you might have regarding the policy, and you can find it here.

Source: TechNet Blog

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